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About Consilium

Consilium Academies is a multi-academy Trust working across the North of England. It has nine academy schools located in Yorkshire, the North West, and the North East. Consilium is dedicated to enriching lives and inspiring ambitions for both students and colleagues.

Performing Arts - Music

Music Is the Laughter of the Heart


At Ellesmere Park, we believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious music curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which ignites curiosity and prepares them well for future learning or employment. We aim to create the very best musicians, give students the greatest opportunities to ensure every student leaves us ready for their next successful chapter in life. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field. We do this through quality first teaching which challenges them to not only understand the complexities of different styles, genres and cultures of music but requires them to explore, discuss and demonstrate this understanding in creative ways.


We consider it important that all students have experiences across multiple different cultures and genres of Music. We want students to be able to play a range of different instruments and all will be given the opportunity to be a part of the music family. Music is regarded as a highly academic subject by Russell group universities because it teaches children transferable skills such as commitment, confidence, public speaking and independent learning. Like a foreign language, Music is an academic subject and a means of communication as well as an art, beneficial to mental health and wellbeing. We think it is important that students are given different ways to express themselves and this is actively encouraged in the Music department.


Students are challenged in all lessons to be able to demonstrate understanding and creativity through performance, composition, through collaboration with their peers and through evaluation of their own work. Through the development of these skills, at both key stages, we would expect to see an increase in self-confidence and creativity throughout all aspects of the curriculum. This personal development will be shown through independent work, but also through ensemble performances and compositions. Students are then equipped apply these in external settings such as shows and employment opportunities.


The curriculum has been planned to develop knowledge and skills over time, with topics linking together to show a continuation. A range of strategies are used across the curriculum to deepen knowledge and allow students to find a ‘way in’ to the music. Music has strong links with other curricular subjects across the school and these are made explicit, so that students can draw links from each subject and build on existing knowledge. A systematic approach to teaching staff and other relevant notations has been included and embedded within and across all topics, bespoke to meet for the needs of all learners, so that students build confidence from reading from sheet music for performances to being able to write it accurately when creating music through composition. We expect and encourage students to use key musical terminology within their work. The curriculum embeds all the core values and expectations of an Ellesmere Park student, ensuring that they CARE about the work that they produce. This is shown through their resilience when learning a new skill and students are often pushed to aspire to complete the next challenge and put themselves out of their comfort zone. Within every lesson, students are expected to consider others points of view and be considerate of all values and abilities when sharing performances, compositions or during class discussions, creating a sense of shared equality to improve their spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding.


Our curriculum at Ellesmere Park High School goes far beyond what is taught in lessons, for whilst we want students to achieve the very best examination results possible, we believe our curriculum goes beyond what is examinable. As a department we offer a wide range of extracurricular opportunities for those who want to develop their musical skills and abilities beyond the classroom. Individual instrumental lessons are available to all pupils throughout the school. These links to MAPAS and the music shed are of vital importance to show aspiring students where music can take them and the importance of learning to play an instrument. As a department, we also have a vibrant collection of extracurricular clubs that pupils can take part in, from choirs, ensemble bands and keyboard clubs. Where possible, and appropriate, we endeavour to expose our students to live music including visits to the theatre and to other live concerts. We also invite musicians to visit school, to perform and work with us. All pupils involved in music are given regular opportunities to perform to develop their confidence and understanding as musicians. We currently hold lunchtime performance concerts every 2 weeks on a Friday. This is a unique part of school life. Students feel supported and comfortable performing and thoroughly enjoy it.

5-Year Music Curriculum overview, please see attachment below.
For more information about our Music curriculum, please contact the Head of Department at daniel.mcnamee@consilium-at.com

Year 7

Term Focus Student Outcomes
Autumn 1
Body Percussion
Students will:
  • Understand the importance of rhythmic awareness in music – and develop an understanding of musical techniques used in music to enhance performances (The Elements of Music).
  • Be introduced to the elements of music as the main focus throughout each unit of work in each year group.
  • Knowledge + Skills
  • Students will:
  • Develop an understanding and awareness of rhythm through exciting and engaging body percussion routines.
  • Learn a choreographed piece of body percussion and perform it over the song Bohemian Rhapsody by queen.
  • Understand different musical and rhythmical words such as polyrhythms, cross rhythms, contrapuntal, syncopation, standard time, crotchet, quaver, semi quaver.
  • Perform in a whole class ensemble for their assessment and as a whole year group ensemble in school assembly.
Autumn 2
Singing as an Ensemble
Students will:
  • Understand the importance of singing, its historical evolution over time and how singing can evoke powerful emotions Musical techniques (The Elements of Music).
  • Knowledge + Skills
  • The purpose of this Unit of work is to encourage students to develop singing skills from primary school and work as a team in a new class setting.
  • Many students will be and will have been used to whole class singing.
  • Students will
  • Develop skills as musicians, look at the evolution of music in singing, skills that can then be transferred to different instruments in subsequent topics, such as key word understanding and the application of elements.
  • Study a number of different styles and genres.
  • Each week there is a different focus as a listening activity and piece of music for students to explore in depth, adding the elements of music into performance, to enhance sound.
  • Be encouraged to develop confidence, be expressive and happy, supported through the learning environment to feel safe and able to perform in front of their peers.
  • Discover the background and history to each piece, before working in different group settings to create a performance.
  • Students will evaluate a range of creative and live versions of performances analysing mood, feelings and emotions.
  • Perform, as a whole class ensemble with a unique arrangement suited to the class, developing their listening skills, understanding of elements of music and how to apply techniques.
Spring 1
Classical Melodies and Notation
Students will:
  • Study the great composers – Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and explore the cultural origins and journey of music through time.
  • Develop an understanding on how to read traditional music notation. Develop an understanding on key composers in time.
  • Develop instrumental skills using the keyboard.
  • Knowledge + Skills
  • Students will
  • Build upon the performance skills from the Introduction to Singing topic,
  • Learn notation and understand how music is written down.
  • Build upon the elements of music and note lengths learnt throughout the previous topic.
  • Learn how to perform them on the keyboard.
  • Identify and use correct hand positioning on the keyboard and develop playing with two hands together.
  • Learn how to play ‘Ode to Joy’ on the piano.
  • Develop composition skills, create own melody to perform on the piano.
  • Learn C major and be introduced to accidentals and where notes are placed on the keyboard.
  • Play and performing an instrument as solo musician.
Spring 2 - Summer 1
Instrumental Development – Let’s Make a Band
Students will:
  • Develop early ensemble skills through forming and playing in a class band.
  • Develop a wide range of skills across a number of popular based instruments. (Guitar, bass, drums, keyboard & vocals)
  • Apply musical techniques to enhance performance.
  • Refine ensemble skills and perform in class.
  • Knowledge + Skills
  • Students will
  • Apply learning from prior two topics, including the use of popular instruments.
  • Learn the basics of all instruments and how to play individual parts on each instrument (guitar, bass, ukulele, drums, keyboard, voice).
  • Develop into popular musicians with a focus on creating class bands ready for external performance in battle of the band competitions and school shows. Potential songs – Chasing Cars, Diamonds, Perfect strangers.
  • Work on a carousel on different instruments, before selecting a favourite to play.
  • Work together as a band to create a performance of the verse to begin with together as a group.
  • Understand the importance of rehearsal as a team
  • Learn, perform and record a song to a high standard.
  • Learn an additional song performing as a group.
  • Playing and performing as an ensemble.
Summer 2
Samba
Students will:
  • Understand the genre, origins of Samba, how this genre of music plays such a big role in the culture of Brazil and how this genre of music has spread across the world. Learn about music across the world
  • Knowledge + Skills
  • Students will
  • Experience the basic styles of different types samba of music including Brazil and look into the cultural influences.
  • Learn and explore in different ways during this topic including independently, in pairs and in groups.
  • Develop singing and percussion skills.
  • Explore music of Brazilian Samba groups – Dutch samba groups – Performing ensembles – local festivals.
  • Play as part of a whole class ensemble on a wide selection of drums from large -small.
  • Learn a piece of music ready for performance
  • Perform a whole class samba performance for whole school lunch concert. 
  • Perform samba as a parade outside and around the school grounds.
  • Explore and appreciate Brazilian culture and thoroughly have fun!

 Skills- Listening skills, instrumental skills, solo performance skills, notation and Reading skills, class ensemble skills

Year 8

Term Focus Student Outcomes
Autumn 1
The Blues 1950s – 1960s
Students will:
  • Understand the genre, origins and development of blues - from the slave trade (field songs) to modern day (Johnny be good). Understand how this genre of music has shaped music as we know it.
Knowledge + Skills:
  • Learning builds upon students’ learning from Year 7’s topics and introduces them to Blues & Jazz and a new structure, 12 Bar Blues.
Students will:
  • Learn additional compositional ideas that are based around the initial chord structure. Typical Blues/Jazz features – walking bass line, improvisation and melody.
  • Be able to sing or perform on an instrument of their choice supporting compositional development.
  • Explore a range of blues songs of choice as part of differing range of class choices
  • Compose their own Blues song, in groups, using a variety of different instruments and voices (used in all previous topics from Years 7 & 8) and Blues techniques listed above.
Autumn 2
Rock and Roll 1950s – 1960s
Students will
  • Learn the origins of rock and roll and how this genre of music evolved from blues music creating a movement which has a huge impact on society.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic builds upon students’ learning from unit 1 blues and previous Y7 topics.
  • It is important that students recognise the importance of genre evolution and understand that because of this, we have the music we listen to and enjoy in today’s society
Students will
  • Develop cultural information relating to the genre and then learn additional performance techniques that are based around the rock and roll movement.
  • Be introduced to iconic names of the era. The King – Elvis P – Buddy Holly, The Beatles. Typical rock and roll features – walking bass line, syncopation improvisation and melody. Introduction of the electric guitar.
  • The guitar is king Students learn to understand and know what this point means and its symbolic importance. • Sing or perform on an instrument of their choice vital to build compositional ideas.
  • Finally perform a piece of rock and roll music – teacher lead in the selection
  • Identify similarities in this genre as they did with blues as continued development.
  • Perform in groups, using a variety of different instruments and voices (used in all previous topics from Years 7 & 8) and Blues techniques listed above.
Spring 1
Brit Invasion + Skiffle 1950s – 1960s
Students will
  • Understand the development of this genre and how bands during the brit invasion formed / evolved from rock and roll movement, in turn influenced through the blues.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic follows on from both unit 1 and unit 2 and supports understanding of how music has evolved and how modern bands are formed. Bands such as the Beatles.
  • This builds upon learning from Year 7 introducing a developing movement – Brit invasion and Skiffle shows the genre of music closely linked with Blues & Jazz and Rock and – The Brit Invasion.
Students will
  • Learn additional arrangement ideas based around the initial chord structure. Typical Blues/Jazz features – walking bass line, improvisation and melody may be present in song selection.
  • Be provided with a selected song to perform – Come together the Beatles. Be able to sing or perform on an instrument of their choice to develop compositional skills.
  • Gain deep understanding of the culture at the time and also the natural transition music is beginning to make.
Spring 2
Reggae 1960s – 1980s
Students will
  • Understand the genre, origins of Reggae and how this movement has culturally affected society as we know it.
  • Discuss the misconceptions and stereotypes this genre of music brings with it.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic introduces students to music from around the world.
Students will
  • Learn about Jamaican culture, the religious movement, basic styles of different types of reggae evolved from Jamaica.
  • Work in different ways, independently, in pairs and in groups.
  • Develop singing, Instrumental skills and percussion skills.
  • Explore music of Reggae, ska, rock steady and have steady focus on reggae icon Bob Marley (Buffalo Soldier / Three little birds 
  • Learn skank rhythm and off beat patterns.
  • Include traditional dialect if possible when performing and singing.
  • Identify favourite type of reggae music and improve performance ready to perform to the class.
Summer 1
Soul & Funk 1970s – 1980s
Students will
  • Understand the genre, origins of Soul and Funk, how this music evolved from reggae music, and influenced a new wave in the world of popular music.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic continues to explore music from around the world.
  • Students will experience different types of music soul and funk music.
  • Understand influences and origins.
  • Play music in this style by following the key features.
  • Work independently, in pairs and in groups.
  • Develop singing, Instrumental and percussion skills. Explore origins of soul and funk, Cross-reference how it has influenced artists from our current generation-
  • STORMZY – Blinded by your grace. Pentatonic scale, Rap.
  • Instrumentation, voice, projection, pronunciation
  • The final part of this project, will be full performance the selected piece.
Summer 2
Hip Hop & Rap 1980s – 1990s
Students will
  • Understand the genre, origins of HIP HOP & RAP and how this movement has culturally affected society.
  • Understand how instrumental and recording techniques paved the way for the new age of hip hop and rap today.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic introduces pupils to music from USA origin. How USA – New York shaped the way.
  • How gang culture at the time found a way of connecting to the world to make political statements through music.
  • Experience many different styles of hip hop and rap music from New York and how the genre originated and developed.
  • Working independently, in pairs and in groups. Develop singing, Instrumental skills and percussion skills.
  • Perform a hip-hop rap performance as a class.

Skills- Listening skills, instrumental skills, performance skills, Solo development, class ensemble skills 

Year 9

Term Focus Student Outcomes
Autumn 1
Rock Music 1970s – 1980s
Students will:
  • Understand the genre, origins of Rock music and how this movement has culturally affected society.
  • Explore how this genre paved the way for a contemporary new wave.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic applies students’ learning from the last 2 years of KS3 development.
  • Students’ chronological exploration of evolution of different styles and genres of music provides them a wide breadth of knowledge in relation to characteristics, playing points and different style. This Unit allows students to work in practical way, making use of popular instruments working together as a band.
  • Students are expected to learn complex pieces and know rock riffs and songs, before developing these further.
  • Students’ progress to holistically learn a range of songs together, making sure they understand different key characteristics and effects such as distortion and sustain.
  • Groupings are strategically placed into groups based on skills and knowledge.
Autumn 2
Britpop 1990s – 2000s
Students will:
  • Understand the genre, origins of Britpop and how this movement has culturally affected society.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic focuses primarily on the Britpop movement and Manchester’s involvement with the development of this style of music. Focusing on music and bands/artists from the local area will inspire students to think about music in their own local area.
Students will:
  • Look at the different waves of music and bands/artists that feature in both
  • Listen to a variety of different pieces of music, performing music by some of the more popular/well known artists (Oasis, Stone Roses etc.) 
  • Learn and apply the structure of popular songs of this movement.
  • Begin writing their songs and music as an extension.
  • Select a personal piece of music linked to Britpop (either performing or composing their own) for a concert/performance for the rest of the class.
  • Musical specifics decided based on independence of the class during the unit of learning (Oasis is one route to follow due to the location of the school and popularity of the band.
Spring 1
Independent Music Development 1970s – 2020s
Students will:
  • Understand the genre, origins of independent music and how this movement has culturally affected contemporary society.
  • This topic explores early indie bands as the basis of the evolution of Britpop began.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic focuses primarily on the early routes of independent music and a continuation of Britpop movement, including Manchester’s involvement with the development of this genre.
Students will:
  • Focus on music and bands/artists from the local area to inspire students to further explore music in their local area. 
  • Look at the different waves of music and bands/artists that feature in both.
  • Listen to a variety of different pieces of music, performing music by some of the more popular/well known artists (like Oasis, Stone Roses etc.).
  • Continue looking at the structure of popular songs.
  • Begin writing own as an extension of learning.
  • The final part of this project, pick a piece of music linked to Britpop (either performing or composing their own) for concert/performance for the rest of the class.
Spring 2
Independent Song Writing
Students will:
  • Apply instrumental skills and knowledge gained throughout KS3 to develop your own song, either as a soloist or small ensemble.
  • Respond to studied genres of music.
  • Demonstrate independence in application of knowledge to form an original piece of music.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic combines student’s work from the last two topics across Yr9. 
  • Work differently, make use of popular instruments and work together as a band.
  • Be expected to work together to write a chord structure, lyrics, melody and other instrumental parts.
  • Songwriting allows students to develop their skills and confidence in composing as a group, before they complete it individually at KS4.
Summer 1
Film Music/Compositional Techniques
Students will:
  • Develop greater of how to read traditional music notation.
  • Explore how iconic film composers, use musical devises to create effective compositions.
  • Develop compositional and technical skills specifically related to music software.
Knowledge + Skills
  • This topic, in preparation for KS4, links to music, familiar to students, through films and TV.
Students will
  • Study leitmotifs and theme music, learning to perform these on a variety of instruments.
  • look at and focus on key composers and understand thinking behind composition.
  • Look at how music is written to underscore dialogue and action scenes within music.
  • Place greater emphasis on listening and analysing how music has been used within films, as this is the key area for extended answers and responses.
  • Identify key features within the music, using academic terminology from previous topics to help support this understanding.
Summer 2
Music Sequencing – Composition
Students will:
  • Develop an understanding on how to use music software and how music software can manipulate sounds through use of effects and automations.
Knowledge + Skills
  • Have spent some time exploring music sequencing techniques in the previous unit, creating short pieces.
  • Design a presentation on how they created sequenced pieces of music and a presentation on how they have developed understanding on the computer software.
  • Presentations should cover the methods used when inputting and editing notes and the ways in which they selected instruments and sounds.
  • Provide examples of sequenced work and show how they have kept an ongoing record of their work.
  • Demonstrate their skills in music sequencing.
  • Produce creatively their own version of a given song.

 Skills- Listening skills, instrumental skills, compositional skills, performance skills, solo development and class ensemble skills.

Year 10

Term Focus Student Outcomes
Autumn 1 - Spring 1
BTEC MUSIC UNIT 2

Music Project

 

In this unit of work, Students will form a band. The band formed is a development of one of the different styles of music covered throughout KS3. Students will then work to create promotional material to advertise and promote their very own band. From making a cd consisting of tracks made in the band, merchandise, posters, logos, radio adverts.

  • Skills Individual performance development – work on ensemble performances stylistic to your band in prep for unit 2 assignment brief. 

Students will:

  • Demonstrate a sustained and effective input into the development and delivery of a music product, making a significant contribution to the success of the work.
  • Create promotional material appropriate to the product that communicates essential information to the target audience.
  • Explain the strengths and weaknesses of the product, justifying conclusions, with reference to the management process.
  • Unit introduction
  • The survival of the music industry depends on its ability to evolve and be innovative with the products created. Live performance has always been a key part of the music industry, while online delivery of recorded music has taken over from CD sales.

This unit will enable students to manage the planning, delivery and promotion of a live concert, recording, or other music product. The success of your music product will rely heavily on the planning and development process. It is important that different types of audience are understood and successful promotion is able to effectively engage these audiences. Your research should introduce you to elements of industry practice. You will work in a defined role to apply the specialist skills, knowledge and understanding required for the aspect of the work for which you are responsible. For example, you could be a performer in a live concert or on a recording (either traditionally or performing with technology such as DJing), or you could be taking on the technical role of producing recordings or online product.

Whichever role you take; you must demonstrate appropriate planning skills for the creation of your product. Your planning will lead to the final delivery of your product and its presentation to others. You will be required to work with others as well as achieving your personal goals, ensuring the product reflects your work and the qualities you show.

The music industry requires teamwork at all levels of operation, and you must support others to achieve to their full potential. Your work will also include the promotion of the music product, reflecting the fact that the industry does not depend purely on what happens on stage, but also on what happens in the marketplace, in retail and in audience generation and engagement.

Spring 2 - Summer 2
BTEC MUSIC UNIT 4 

COMPOSITION

In this unit of work, students will develop compositional skills and work to a brief. Pupils will be set real life scenarios of composition and will understand how this unit of work can link to career opportunities.

  • Students will create four detailed and contrasting musical ideas in response to a compositional brief that could form the basis for a composition, showing the imaginative and appropriate application of least two different starting points. 
  • Demonstrate skilful selection and effective use of melodic and harmonic techniques to develop two contrasting musical ideas into more extended compositional drafts, showing imagination and flair.
  • Demonstrate skilful selection and use of appropriate structures to effectively develop one compositional draft into a completed composition, showing imagination, style and flair as appropriate given the brief.
  • At the end of this unit of work, students will present musical ideas in an appropriate format with clarity, accuracy and attention to detail.

Unit introduction

  • Have you ever wondered who writes the music that surrounds us? Music is everywhere, written every day to be used in TV, film and advertising, as well as for pleasure and for profit. Being a composer in the 21st century is about being able to respond quickly and appropriately to briefs – and in a marketplace of intense competition, coming up with an appropriate composition on a short timescale is vital.
  • This unit will require you to develop a portfolio of ideas, some of which will be developed, and one of which will be completed.
  • You will discover a range of compositional techniques and produce contrasting musical ideas to develop your compositional expertise. An idea might take the form of a short melodic motif, a chord progression or a rhythmic idea. Ideas can be short or long – you will consider the different ways in which these ideas could form the basis for a complete piece of music.
  • You will be introduced to ways to extend, develop and shape music that suits different situations. Briefs will be used to present you with real-life compositional challenges that may require the composition of a very short piece, e.g. for a 20-second TV advert, or a more extended composition, e.g. for a film scene. Above all, this unit is about the creation of music in the here and now. You will be encouraged to find your own creative routes through the compositional process and ultimately begin to develop your own creative voice.

Year 11

Term Focus Student Outcomes
Autumn 1 - Spring 1
BTEC MUSIC UNIT 4 

COMPOSITION + Unit 1

Students will:

  • Create four detailed and contrasting musical ideas in response to a compositional brief that could form the basis for a composition, showing the imaginative and appropriate application of least two different starting points.
  • Demonstrate skilful selection and effective use of melodic and harmonic techniques to develop two contrasting musical ideas into more extended compositional drafts, showing imagination and flair.
  • Demonstrate skilful selection and use of appropriate structures to effectively develop one compositional draft into a completed composition, showing imagination, style and flair as appropriate given the brief.
  • Present musical ideas in an appropriate format with clarity, accuracy and attention to detail.

Unit introduction

  • Have you ever wondered who writes the music that surrounds us? Music is everywhere, written every day to be used in TV, film and advertising, as well as for pleasure and for profit. Being a composer in the 21st century is about being able to respond quickly and appropriately to briefs – and in a marketplace of intense competition, coming up with an appropriate composition on a short timescale is vital. This unit will require you to develop a portfolio of ideas, some of which will be developed, and one of which will be completed.
  • You will discover a range of compositional techniques and produce contrasting musical ideas to develop your compositional expertise. An idea might take the form of a short melodic motif, a chord progression or a rhythmic idea. Ideas can be short or long – you will consider the different ways in which these ideas could form the basis for a complete piece of music.
  • You will be introduced to ways to extend, develop and shape music that suits different situations. Briefs will be used to present you with real-life compositional challenges that may require the composition of a very short piece, e.g. for a 20-second TV advert, or a more extended composition, e.g. for a film scene. Above all, this unit is about the creation of music in the here and now.
  • You will be encouraged to find your own creative routes through the compositional process and ultimately begin to develop your own creative voice.
Spring 2 - Summer 2
BTEC MUSIC UNIT 7 

MUSIC SEQUENCING + Unit 1

Students will:

  • Explain the features of music sequencing techniques in relation to note input and editing and the use of effects and their potential applications.
  • Select and apply sequencing techniques in the production of a piece of music, with attention to detail and musicality.
  • Select and apply mixing techniques that enhance the final mix.

Unit introduction

  • Digital technology is a huge part of the music that surrounds us in the 21st century. In this unit, you will be using sequencing software packages to create music in response to a realistic, music-industry-led brief. You will learn how to create music using a variety of sources, including loops and software instruments.
  • You will edit your music by the application of different processes such as quantisation, looping and note editing, and enhance the sound by the addition of appropriate plug-in effects such as reverb, delay and distortion. You will then learn how to create a final mix that will become a completed audio file. As you learn through experiencing and using the software, you will gain an understanding of the roles of different software tools, leading to the production of music that uses the full functionality of the software available.
  • You will use your knowledge to create either original music or a creative arrangement of music already written by others. Explain the features of music sequencing techniques in relation to note input and editing and the use of effects and their potential applications.
  • You will select and apply sequencing techniques in the production of a piece of music, with attention to detail and musicality.
  • You will select and apply mixing techniques that enhance the final mix.